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What is a Life Jacket?

11/15/2013 8:01:26 AM | by Anonymous


A life jacket is a type of safety device that is used to keep humans or animals afloat in the water in the case of emergency such as falling over board a ship or being involved in a plane that has crashed in the water. Life jackets are compulsory to have on every boat and airplane and people are educated on how to find and wear them in the case of an emergency. There should be sizes of life jackets for every adults, infant and child. There are also life jackets designed for animals such as dogs. There are various life jackets available for different applications and these life jackets are readily available at any boating supply shop or online catalogs.

On the life jackets there are adjustable straps that help keep a snug fit for the user. This is to ensure that the life jacket does not fall off when they jump from a certain height. These life jackets have chambers that are filler with foam, air, cork and other substances that float to ensure that the user’s head is kept above the surface. Life jackets are especially useful for those who are injured, fatigued or unconscious from drowning as they wait for people to rescue them.


Life jackets are designed to come in bright colors so that the rescuers can easily locate the person that needs to be rescued. Some life jackets also have reflective gear to aid the rescuers to locate the people at night. Some designs of life jackets may also have compartments to hold food such as energy bars and water to ensure that the person is able to survive longer while waiting for rescuers to come.

Most of the life jacket’s designs require the user to put the life jacket over their head. These life jackets can be categorized into type I, type II and type III. Type I life vests are meant for open and rough waters such as in the middle of the ocean where rescuers may take some time to come. These life jackets are more rugged and have more floating substances in them. Type II and Type III life jackets are meant for calmer waters such as in rivers or lakes. Apart from these three types there are also other floatation devices that can be thrown such as floating rings and buoys to save someone that is not wearing a life jacket.

It is important that people wear a life jacket at all times on a small boat as they travel at higher speeds and have a higher chance of capsizing because of their smaller size. Wearing a life jacket is extremely important for these kinds of boats. This is not the case however for larger ships such as cruises, but the passengers have to know where the life jackets are located in case of an emergency. The passengers should also know how to use the life jackets. In aircrafts, the life jackets are usually located underneath the passenger’s seat and they have to be manually inflated. This is to ensure that passengers can easily grab the life jackets and improve the overall evacuation process.


Like any other devices, life jackets have a chance to fail. You would not want this to happen at the most crucial times such as during an emergency. Thus, it is important that the life jackets are checked regularly to ensure that they are in working condition. One of the more common problems is that the straps may sometimes wear out and start to fray; this poses the risk of breaking which means that the user will not have a snug fit. Life jackets are extremely important and have saved many lives over many emergency situations.


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